Per Montgomery County: Montgomery County and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #35 have come to an agreement to begin offering a $20,000 bonus for new sworn police recruits. The funding for the initial part of this effort was generated through savings accrued from personnel vacancies within the Montgomery County Police Department. Full implementation of the bonus program would require County Council approval for the fiscal 2024 and beyond budgets.
Chief Marcus Jones confirmed earlier this month in testimony before the Public Safety Committee of the County Council that the Department is currently down 129 sworn officers.
“By increasing the starting salaries for police officers, we have moved Montgomery County into a better recruiting position,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I thank Montgomery County Police Department and FOP leaders for agreeing to this new bonus because I think it will make Montgomery County more attractive to new recruits.”
This announcement is being made amidst a national recruiting shortage impacting most police departments in our region and in preparation for the next recruitment class scheduled to begin in June 2023 at the Public Safety Training Academy.
“This signing bonus is going to put us on a level playing field with competing jurisdictions for potential police officer candidates,” says Marcus Jones, Chief of Police. “Without these bonuses, we would be at a disadvantage.”
“Montgomery County, along with our region, has experienced many challenges over the years that has greatly impacted police recruitment,” said Councilmember Sidney Katz, chair of the County’s Public Safety Commission. “This is an important step to take to enhance our ability to effectively recruit the complement of officers needed in our County. “
Payments of the bonus would be made in stages. For example, the first the payment would account for 10% of the total and come after a new recruit’s first day as a Montgomery County employee.
“We thank the County Executive for working with Lodge 35 on providing a wage and benefit agreement that both helps recruits and retains police officers in Montgomery County, including the studying of a hiring bonus,” said Lee Holland, president of the FOP in our area. “We hope that the County Council approves these much-needed increases so we can again be a competitive agency when it comes to wages and benefits.”